UPDATE: Here’s my PICKS for the week.
No offense to UCLA, Illinois, Fresno State and UTEP, but now the season starts for real. First stop for me is Saint Paul, Minnesota to see the Gophers host the Buckeyes. Well, technically speaking, the first stop is actually the Minnesota State Fair. I was told that if I was going to Minnesota to see the Gophers, it had to be when the snow hit the ground. I laughed that off. I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. We eat snow for breakfast in Erie. I have played more than my share of football games in the snow. I have also sat through many games in the snow. No offense to my Gopher friend, who I won’t remind that we also have the O.G. – the Original Gopher – in Punxsutawney Phil, but I don’t need my snow card punched. It would seem hitting the State Fair is a good compromise anyway. It is a Thursday night game and I can’t wait to feel sixty degree weather again after roasting all summer in Houston.
Alas, I won’t get to spend much time in Saint Paul as I will have to hop a bus to get to Madison, Wisconsin. Yes, another first for my somanystadiums tour. I had all intentions of renting a car and making the leisurely drive over to Madison while happily munching on cheese curds. However, when I went to rent a car, it was an astronomical $350 a day. I considered flying, but the times were just inconvenient so it was “one bus ticket, please”. It will be worth it to see PSU play Wisconsin in one of the best games of the weekend. I am a little bummed that the kickoff is at 11am but I am still looking forward to jumping around in Camp Randall. Haven’t got the tickets yet for either game and was surprised to see that the Minnesota game is the hotter and more expensive ticket right now.
Did I mention that Fox’s version of ESPN Game Day, Big Noon Kickoff, will be at both locations? I don’t really know what that vibe will be like. It feels like I should do my duty to check it out. To be honest, that kind of thing is good for about a half hour live. See the set, have a beer, and then bolt. Unless Fox is going to give me A.D.’s (attention dollars) by putting me on stage, I’d be happier eating a brat and drinking a Milwaukee’s Best (when in Rome…). That’s nothing against Fox by the way, I would say the same thing about ESPN’s Game Day which I have done a couple of times.
They are also kicking off the Dos Equis Ultimate College Football Road Trip. Mark Titus and Charlotte Wilder (yeah, I had to look them up too) are going to various towns to check out the tailgates etc. They kick off the tour with a stop at a local Madison bar, SCONNIEBAR, on Friday night. You may have forgotten when Dos Equis’ snubbed me in their most interesting fan in college football contest, but I have not. Given that the North Carolina – Virginia Tech game starts at the same time, I am strongly considering giving Titus and Wilder the stiff arm. I am a Modelo Negra guy anyway. On the other hand, it is Friday Fish Fry at SCONNIE’s – Perch anyone?